Last night was my “The Princess and the Pea” night: the site where I pitched my tent was quite rocky and I could feel those rocks through my thin air mattress. I got up at six o’clock to have plenty of time to get to my next stop. The morning start was rough; the way out of the camping was close to 2km uphill – but that was nothing in comparison to the rest of the ride. I was mentally prepared for a hilly ride. But hills with a strong headwind – it’s a killer. At one point I was going downhill while pedaling, and yet I was still completely stopped by wind gusts. Then there was an 18km climb without any breaks. Half way through the day, my left knee started to bother me, then my hamstring. I was completely disheartened by the seemingly endless struggle. I wanted to quit. When a German motorbiker asked me how many kilometers I did so far and I replied “almost 2500”, he said: “Respect!”. That pushed me a bit further. To get to Novalja, my next stop, I took a ferry to Pag Island. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel: there were just a few kilometers left on the other side. Yeap, just a few, at 9% grade.
Now I’m here on the beach with blue water, cold apple cider and free wifi.
Today in numbers:
111km – distance covered
6h55m – riding time
33 – US dollars to pitch a tent, as steep as the hills